أَلَا تُقَاتِلُونَ قَوْمًا نَكَثُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَهَمُّوا بِإِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُمْ بَدَءُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ۚ أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ ۚ فَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَخْشَوْهُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.
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(O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbeliefrather than faith) [9:23-24]. Said al-Kalbi: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give himpeace, was commanded to migrate to Medina, some men went to their fathers, brothers or wives and said:'We have been commanded to migrate to Medina'. Thus, some people liked the command and hastened toexecute it, while the wives, dependents and children of others hung on to some others, saying: 'We beseechyou by Allah not to leave us to no one, causing our waste and peril'. The hearts of these softened for themand, as a result, they refrained from migrating. These words of Allah, exalted is He, were then revealed torebuke them (O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasurein disbelief rather than faith…)”. As for those who stayed back in Mecca and did not migrate, Allah, exalted isHe, revealed (then wait till Allah bringeth His command to pass…) [9:24], meaning fighting and theconquest of Mecca.
أَلاَ تُقَـتِلُونَ قَوْماً نَّكَثُواْ أَيْمَـنَهُمْ وَهَمُّواْ بِإِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُم بَدَءُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ فَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَوْهُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤُمِنِينَ - قَـتِلُوهُمْ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللَّهُ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ وَيُخْزِهِمْ وَيَنْصُرْكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَيَشْفِ صُدُورَ قَوْمٍ مُّؤْمِنِينَ - وَيُذْهِبْ غَيْظَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَيَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
(13. Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths and intended to expel the Messenger while they did attack you first Do you fear them Allah has more right that you should fear Him if you are believers.)
(14. Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands, and disgrace them and give you victory over them, and heal the breasts of a believing people,)
(15. And remove the anger of their (believers') hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.)
These Ayat encourage, direct and recommend fighting against the idolators who break the terms of their covenants, those who tried to expel the Messenger from Makkah. Allah said in other Ayat,
وَإِذْ يَمْكُرُ بِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِيُثْبِتُوكَ أَوْ يَقْتُلُوكَ أَوْ يُخْرِجُوكَ وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَـكِرِينَ
(And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you to imprison you, or to kill you, or to expell you; they were plotting and Allah too was plotting; and Allah is the best of those who plot.) 8:30,
يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّـكُمْ أَن تُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ
(...and have driven out the Messenger and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allah your Lord!) 60:1, and,
وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ لِيُخْرِجُوكَ مِنْهَا
(And verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land.) 17:76 Allah's statement,
وَهُم بَدَءُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ
(while they did attack you first), refers to the battle of Badr when the idolators marched to protect their caravan. When they knew that their caravan escaped safely, they still went ahead with their intent to fight Muslims out of arrogance, as we mentioned before. It was also said that these Ayat refer to the idolators breaking the peace agreement with Muslims and aiding Bani Bakr, their allies, against Khuza`ah, the ally of the Messenger of Allah . This is why the Messenger of Allah marched to Makkah in the year of the victory, thus conquering it, all thanks and praise is due to Allah. Allah said,
أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ فَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَوْهُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤُمِنِينَ
(Do you fear them Allah has more right that you should fear Him if you are believers.) Allah says here, `Do not fear idolators, but fear Me instead, for I am worthy of being feared by the servants due to My might and punishment. In My Hand lies the matter; whatever I will occurs, and whatever I do not will does not occur.' Allah next said, while ordering the believers and explaining the wisdom of ordaining Jihad against them, all the while able to destroy their enemies with a command from Him,
قَـتِلُوهُمْ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللَّهُ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ وَيُخْزِهِمْ وَيَنْصُرْكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَيَشْفِ صُدُورَ قَوْمٍ مُّؤْمِنِينَ
(Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands, and disgrace them and give you victory over them, and heal the breasts of a believing people.) This Ayah includes all believers, even though Mujahid, `Ikrimah and As-Suddi said that it refers to Khuza`ah. Concerning the believers, Allah said;
وَيُذْهِبْ غَيْظَ قُلُوبِهِمْ
(and remove the anger of their hearts), then
وَيَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَن يَشَآءُ
(Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills), from His servants,
(Allah is All-Knowing), in what benefits His servants,
(All-Wise), in His actions and statements, whether narrative or legislative. Allah does what He wills, decides what He wills, and He is the Just Who never wrongs any. Not even the weight of an atom of good or evil is ever neglected with Him, but rather, He compensates for it in this life and the Hereafter.